BALATONALMÁDI, May 26, 2018
The top four seeds advanced to the semis and the top two favourites made it to the singles final, in which the tournament’s No. 2 eventually prevailed. Marko Tepavac of Serbia wins the $15,000 Balatonalmádi Open on Saturday afternoon with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Samuel Bensoussan of France.
About 50 spectators came out on a sunny and hot day to follow the action at Balatonalmádi Tenisz Klub, which is located in the middle of a park right next to famous Lake Balaton. Both finalists had to play two matches, as the semis were postponed to Saturday due to bad weather. Tepavac eased past Mick Lescure of France 6-4, 6-2 and Bensoussan benefited from the retirement of defending champion Pascal Mais leading 5-2 in the opening set.
Tepavac dominates final
Bensoussan had the better start into the first meeting with Tepavac, gaining an early break in the very first game. Tepavac, who appeared with sunglasses and a tape on his nose, broke back in the next game. The 24-year-old Belgrade native was more solid from the baseline, hitting flat and powerful groundstrokes and capitalized on his first set point after just under one hour of play.
From then on Tepavac took control of the encounter, breaking his opponent’s serve in the first as well as in the fourth game of the second set to convert his first match point after one hour and 27 minutes.
14th ITF Pro Circuit Title
Asked about the key to success today, Tepavac said: “To be honest, I won so many Futures in the past and I am actually used to play on much higher level than this. So I didn’t feel any pressure to play this week here. I focused on my game from the beginning until the end.”
The almost two meters tall Serbian clinched his 14th ITF Pro Circuit career title, his second of the season, and didn’t drop one set all week. He celebrated his biggest success two years ago by taking his maiden ATP Challenger crown in Karshi. Tepavac reached a career high World No. 174 but missed almost half of last year’s season.
Boxing and tennis
“I had some bad results and I lost all my money I earned with tennis before. I couldn’t compete and almost stopped playing tennis. I am also a boxer but stopped with it when I broke inside the top 200 as I didn’t want to risk injuries. This is the last year I will try to come back. Otherwise I go full-time boxing again,” Tepavac told Tennis TourTalk and revealed that he played the entire tournament in Balatonalmádi with a broken nose.
“I came from a rough sparring two weeks ago. This tournament is pretty close to my home, so I came to play here. In the end I won some money. That was the goal,” commented Tepavac, who competed in cruiserweight class. He takes away $1,944 in prize money as well as 18 ATP Ranking points.
“Now I am going to Romania for another Futures. It is not too expensive to go there. I will try to win again and gather more money before going back home. One boxing match awaits me there and then I will try to play some Challengers again,” Tepavac explains his unusual schedule for a professional tennis player.
“It is not too difficult to switch from boxing to tennis. My dad was a boxer, too, and after boxing, tennis comes very easy,” the World No. 476 said.